Apple is a widely cultivated fruit crop for its quality properties and extended storability. Among the several quality factors, texture is the most important and appreciated, and within the apple variety panorama the cortex texture shows a broad range of variability. Anatomically these variations depend on degradation events occurring in both fruit primary cell wall and middle lamella. This physiological process is regulated by an enzymatic network generally encoded by large gene families, among which polygalacturonase is devoted to the depolymerization of pectin. In apple, Md-PG1, a key gene belonging to the polygalacturonase gene family, was mapped on chromosome 10 and co-localized within the statistical interval of a major hot spot QTL associated to several fruit texture sub-phenotypes.
In this work, a QTL corresponding to the position of Md-PG1 was validated and new functional alleles associated to the fruit texture properties in 77 apple cultivars were discovered. 38 SNPs genotyped by gene full length resequencing and 2 SSR markers ad hoc targeted in the gene metacontig were employed. Out of this SNP set, eleven were used to define three significant haplotypes statistically associated to several texture components. The impact of Md-PG1 in the fruit cell wall disassembly was further confirmed by the cortex structure electron microscope scanning in two apple varieties characterized by opposite texture performance, such as ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Granny Smith’.
The results here presented step forward into the genetic dissection of fruit texture in apple. This new set of haplotypes, and microsatellite alleles, can represent a valuable toolbox for a more efficient parental selection as well as the identification of new apple accessions distinguished by superior fruit quality features.
Rapid development of highly saturated genetic maps aids molecular breeding, which can accelerate gain per breeding cycle in woody perennial plants such as Rubus idaeus (red raspberry). Recently, robust genotyping methods based on high-throughput sequencing were developed, which provide high marker density, but result in some genotype errors and a large number of missing genotype values. Imputation can reduce the number of missing values and can correct genotyping errors, but current methods of imputation require a reference genome and thus are not an option for most species.
Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS) was used to produce highly saturated maps for a R. idaeus pseudo-testcross progeny. While low coverage and high variance in sequencing resulted in a large number of missing values for some individuals, a novel method of imputation based on maximum likelihood marker ordering from initial marker segregation overcame the challenge of missing values, and made map construction computationally tractable. The two resulting parental maps contained 4521 and 2391 molecular markers spanning 462.7 and 376.6 cM respectively over seven linkage groups. Detection of precise genomic regions with segregation distortion was possible because of map saturation. Microsatellites (SSRs) linked these results to published maps for cross-validation and map comparison.
GBS together with genome-independent imputation provides a rapid method for genetic map construction in any pseudo-testcross progeny. Our method of imputation estimates the correct genotype call of missing values and corrects genotyping errors that lead to inflated map size and reduced precision in marker placement. Comparison of SSRs to published R. idaeus maps showed that the linkage maps constructed with GBS and our method of imputation were robust, and marker positioning reliable. The high marker density allowed identification of genomic regions with segregation distortion in R. idaeus, which may help to identify deleterious alleles that are the basis of inbreeding depression in the species.
Genotyping by sequencing; GBS; RADseq; Imputation; Raspberry; Rubus idaeus; Psuedotestcross; Linkage map; Segregation distortion
Downy mildew, caused by Plasmopara viticola, is one of the most severe diseases of grapevine and is commonly controlled by fungicide treatments. The beneficial microorganism Trichoderma harzianum T39 (T39) can induce resistance to downy mildew, although the molecular events associated with this process have not yet been elucidated in grapevine. A next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) approach was used to study global transcriptional changes associated with resistance induced by T39 in Vitis vinifera Pinot Noir leaves. The long-term aim was to develop strategies to optimize the use of this agent for downy mildew control.
More than 14.8 million paired-end reads were obtained for each biological replicate of T39-treated and control leaf samples collected before and 24 h after P. viticola inoculation. RNA-Seq analysis resulted in the identification of 7,024 differentially expressed genes, highlighting the complex transcriptional reprogramming of grapevine leaves during resistance induction and in response to pathogen inoculation. Our data show that T39 has a dual effect: it directly modulates genes related to the microbial recognition machinery, and it enhances the expression of defence-related processes after pathogen inoculation. Whereas several genes were commonly affected by P. viticola in control and T39-treated plants, opposing modulation of genes related to responses to stress and protein metabolism was found. T39-induced resistance partially inhibited some disease-related processes and specifically activated defence responses after P. viticola inoculation, causing a significant reduction of downy mildew symptoms.
The global transcriptional analysis revealed that defence processes known to be implicated in the reaction of resistant genotypes to downy mildew were partially activated by T39-induced resistance in susceptible grapevines. Genes identified in this work are an important source of markers for selecting novel resistance inducers and for the analysis of environmental conditions that might affect induced resistance mechanisms.
Induced resistance; Next generation sequencing; RNA-Seq; Transcriptomics; Gene expression; Vitis vinifera; Plant-pathogen interactions
Somatic mutation is a natural mechanism which allows plant growers to develop new cultivars. As a source of variation within a uniform genetic background, it also represents an ideal tool for studying the genetic make-up of important traits and for establishing gene functions. Layer-specific molecular characterization of the Pinot family of grape cultivars was conducted to provide an evolutionary explanation for the somatic mutations that have affected the locus of berry colour. Through the study of the structural dynamics along chromosome 2, a very large deletion present in a single Pinot gris cell layer was identified and characterized. This mutation reveals that Pinot gris and Pinot blanc arose independently from the ancestral Pinot noir, suggesting a novel parallel evolutionary model. This proposed ‘Pinot-model’ represents a breakthrough towards the full understanding of the mechanisms behind the formation of white, grey, red, and pink grape cultivars, and eventually of their specific enological aptitude.
Berry colour; grapevine; layer; molecular characterization; SSRs and SNPs; Vitis vinifera
Carotenoids are a heterogeneous group of plant isoprenoids primarily involved in photosynthesis. In plants the cleavage of carotenoids leads to the formation of the phytohormones abscisic acid and strigolactone, and C13-norisoprenoids involved in the characteristic flavour and aroma compounds in flowers and fruits and are of specific importance in the varietal character of grapes and wine. This work extends the previous reports of carotenoid gene expression and photosynthetic pigment analysis by providing an up-to-date pathway analysis and an important framework for the analysis of carotenoid metabolic pathways in grapevine.
Comparative genomics was used to identify 42 genes putatively involved in carotenoid biosynthesis/catabolism in grapevine. The genes are distributed on 16 of the 19 chromosomes and have been localised to the physical map of the heterozygous ENTAV115 grapevine sequence. Nine of the genes occur as single copies whereas the rest of the carotenoid metabolic genes have more than one paralogue. The cDNA copies of eleven corresponding genes from Vitis vinifera L. cv. Pinotage were characterised, and four where shown to be functional. Microarrays provided expression profiles of 39 accessions in the metabolic pathway during three berry developmental stages in Sauvignon blanc, whereas an optimised HPLC analysis provided the concentrations of individual carotenoids. This provides evidence of the functioning of the lutein epoxide cycle and the respective genes in grapevine. Similarly, orthologues of genes leading to the formation of strigolactone involved in shoot branching inhibition were identified: CCD7, CCD8 and MAX1. Moreover, the isoforms typically have different expression patterns, confirming the complex regulation of the pathway. Of particular interest is the expression pattern of the three VvNCEDs: Our results support previous findings that VvNCED3 is likely the isoform linked to ABA content in berries.
The carotenoid metabolic pathway is well characterised, and the genes and enzymes have been studied in a number of plants. The study of the 42 carotenoid pathway genes of grapevine showed that they share a high degree of similarity with other eudicots. Expression and pigment profiling of developing berries provided insights into the most complete grapevine carotenoid pathway representation. This study represents an important reference study for further characterisation of carotenoid biosynthesis and catabolism in grapevine.
A whole-genome genotyping array has previously been developed for Malus using SNP data from 28 Malus genotypes. This array offers the prospect of high throughput genotyping and linkage map development for any given Malus progeny. To test the applicability of the array for mapping in diverse Malus genotypes, we applied the array to the construction of a SNP-based linkage map of an apple rootstock progeny.
Of the 7,867 Malus SNP markers on the array, 1,823 (23.2%) were heterozygous in one of the two parents of the progeny, 1,007 (12.8%) were heterozygous in both parental genotypes, whilst just 2.8% of the 921 Pyrus SNPs were heterozygous. A linkage map spanning 1,282.2 cM was produced comprising 2,272 SNP markers, 306 SSR markers and the S-locus. The length of the M432 linkage map was increased by 52.7 cM with the addition of the SNP markers, whilst marker density increased from 3.8 cM/marker to 0.5 cM/marker. Just three regions in excess of 10 cM remain where no markers were mapped. We compared the positions of the mapped SNP markers on the M432 map with their predicted positions on the ‘Golden Delicious’ genome sequence. A total of 311 markers (13.7% of all mapped markers) mapped to positions that conflicted with their predicted positions on the ‘Golden Delicious’ pseudo-chromosomes, indicating the presence of paralogous genomic regions or mis-assignments of genome sequence contigs during the assembly and anchoring of the genome sequence.
We incorporated data for the 2,272 SNP markers onto the map of the M432 progeny and have presented the most complete and saturated map of the full 17 linkage groups of M. pumila to date. The data were generated rapidly in a high-throughput semi-automated pipeline, permitting significant savings in time and cost over linkage map construction using microsatellites. The application of the array will permit linkage maps to be developed for QTL analyses in a cost-effective manner, and the identification of SNPs that have been assigned erroneous positions on the ‘Golden Delicious’ reference sequence will assist in the continued improvement of the genome sequence assembly for that variety.
Infinium; Golden Gate; Breeding; Selection; Genome sequence; Marker
Rosaceae include numerous economically important and morphologically diverse species. Comparative mapping between the member species in Rosaceae have indicated some level of synteny. Recently the whole genome of three crop species, peach, apple and strawberry, which belong to different genera of the Rosaceae family, have been sequenced, allowing in-depth comparison of these genomes.
Our analysis using the whole genome sequences of peach, apple and strawberry identified 1399 orthologous regions between the three genomes, with a mean length of around 100 kb. Each peach chromosome showed major orthology mostly to one strawberry chromosome, but to more than two apple chromosomes, suggesting that the apple genome went through more chromosomal fissions in addition to the whole genome duplication after the divergence of the three genera. However, the distribution of contiguous ancestral regions, identified using the multiple genome rearrangements and ancestors (MGRA) algorithm, suggested that the Fragaria genome went through a greater number of small scale rearrangements compared to the other genomes since they diverged from a common ancestor. Using the contiguous ancestral regions, we reconstructed a hypothetical ancestral genome for the Rosaceae 7 composed of nine chromosomes and propose the evolutionary steps from the ancestral genome to the extant Fragaria, Prunus and Malus genomes.
Our analysis shows that different modes of evolution may have played major roles in different subfamilies of Rosaceae. The hypothetical ancestral genome of Rosaceae and the evolutionary steps that lead to three different lineages of Rosaceae will facilitate our understanding of plant genome evolution as well as have a practical impact on knowledge transfer among member species of Rosaceae.
Rosaceae; Comparative genomics; Evolution
Predicting protein function has become increasingly demanding in the era of next generation sequencing technology. The task to assign a curator-reviewed function to every single sequence is impracticable. Bioinformatics tools, easy to use and able to provide automatic and reliable annotations at a genomic scale, are necessary and urgent. In this scenario, the Gene Ontology has provided the means to standardize the annotation classification with a structured vocabulary which can be easily exploited by computational methods.
Argot2 is a web-based function prediction tool able to annotate nucleic or protein sequences from small datasets up to entire genomes. It accepts as input a list of sequences in FASTA format, which are processed using BLAST and HMMER searches vs UniProKB and Pfam databases respectively; these sequences are then annotated with GO terms retrieved from the UniProtKB-GOA database and the terms are weighted using the e-values from BLAST and HMMER. The weighted GO terms are processed according to both their semantic similarity relations described by the Gene Ontology and their associated score. The algorithm is based on the original idea developed in a previous tool called Argot. The entire engine has been completely rewritten to improve both accuracy and computational efficiency, thus allowing for the annotation of complete genomes.
The revised algorithm has been already employed and successfully tested during in-house genome projects of grape and apple, and has proven to have a high precision and recall in all our benchmark conditions. It has also been successfully compared with Blast2GO, one of the methods most commonly employed for sequence annotation. The server is freely accessible at http://www.medcomp.medicina.unipd.it/Argot2.
As high-throughput genetic marker screening systems are essential for a range of genetics studies and plant breeding applications, the International RosBREED SNP Consortium (IRSC) has utilized the Illumina Infinium® II system to develop a medium- to high-throughput SNP screening tool for genome-wide evaluation of allelic variation in apple (Malus×domestica) breeding germplasm. For genome-wide SNP discovery, 27 apple cultivars were chosen to represent worldwide breeding germplasm and re-sequenced at low coverage with the Illumina Genome Analyzer II. Following alignment of these sequences to the whole genome sequence of ‘Golden Delicious’, SNPs were identified using SoapSNP. A total of 2,113,120 SNPs were detected, corresponding to one SNP to every 288 bp of the genome. The Illumina GoldenGate® assay was then used to validate a subset of 144 SNPs with a range of characteristics, using a set of 160 apple accessions. This validation assay enabled fine-tuning of the final subset of SNPs for the Illumina Infinium® II system. The set of stringent filtering criteria developed allowed choice of a set of SNPs that not only exhibited an even distribution across the apple genome and a range of minor allele frequencies to ensure utility across germplasm, but also were located in putative exonic regions to maximize genotyping success rate. A total of 7867 apple SNPs was established for the IRSC apple 8K SNP array v1, of which 5554 were polymorphic after evaluation in segregating families and a germplasm collection. This publicly available genomics resource will provide an unprecedented resolution of SNP haplotypes, which will enable marker-locus-trait association discovery, description of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, investigation of genetic variation (neutral and functional), and genomic selection in apple.
Apple (Malus×domestica Borkh) is among the main sources of phenolic compounds in the human diet. The genetic basis of the quantitative variations of these potentially beneficial phenolic compounds was investigated. A segregating F1 population was used to map metabolite quantitative trait loci (mQTLs). Untargeted metabolic profiling of peel and flesh tissues of ripe fruits was performed using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS), resulting in the detection of 418 metabolites in peel and 254 in flesh. In mQTL mapping using MetaNetwork, 669 significant mQTLs were detected: 488 in the peel and 181 in the flesh. Four linkage groups (LGs), LG1, LG8, LG13, and LG16, were found to contain mQTL hotspots, mainly regulating metabolites that belong to the phenylpropanoid pathway. The genetics of annotated metabolites was studied in more detail using MapQTL®. A number of quercetin conjugates had mQTLs on LG1 or LG13. The most important mQTL hotspot with the largest number of metabolites was detected on LG16: mQTLs for 33 peel-related and 17 flesh-related phenolic compounds. Structural genes involved in the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway were located, using the apple genome sequence. The structural gene leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR1) was in the mQTL hotspot on LG16, as were seven transcription factor genes. The authors believe that this is the first time that a QTL analysis was performed on such a high number of metabolites in an outbreeding plant species.
Malus×domestica Borkh; genetical metabolomics; LC-MS; MapQTL; MetaNetwork; untargeted and targeted mQTL mapping
Plants have followed a reticulate type of evolution and taxa have frequently merged via allopolyploidization. A polyploid structure of sequenced genomes has often been proposed, but the chromosomes belonging to putative component genomes are difficult to identify. The 19 grapevine chromosomes are evolutionary stable structures: their homologous triplets have strongly conserved gene order, interrupted by rare translocations. The aim of this study is to examine how the grapevine nucleotide-binding site (NBS)-encoding resistance (NBS-R) genes have evolved in the genomic context and to understand mechanisms for the genome evolution. We show that, in grapevine, i) helitrons have significantly contributed to transposition of NBS-R genes, and ii) NBS-R gene cluster similarity indicates the existence of two groups of chromosomes (named as Va and Vc) that may have evolved independently. Chromosome triplets consist of two Va and one Vc chromosomes, as expected from the tetraploid and diploid conditions of the two component genomes. The hexaploid state could have been derived from either allopolyploidy or the separation of the Va and Vc component genomes in the same nucleus before fusion, as known for Rosaceae species. Time estimation indicates that grapevine component genomes may have fused about 60 mya, having had at least 40–60 mya to evolve independently. Chromosome number variation in the Vitaceae and related families, and the gap between the time of eudicot radiation and the age of Vitaceae fossils, are accounted for by our hypothesis.
Although flowering in mature fruit trees is recurrent, floral induction can be strongly inhibited by concurrent fruiting, leading to a pattern of irregular fruiting across consecutive years referred to as biennial bearing. The genetic determinants of biennial bearing in apple were investigated using the 114 flowering individuals from an F1 population of 122 genotypes, from a ‘Starkrimson’ (strong biennial bearer)×‘Granny Smith’ (regular bearer) cross. The number of inflorescences, and the number and the mass of harvested fruit were recorded over 6 years and used to calculate 26 variables and indices quantifying yield, precocity of production, and biennial bearing. Inflorescence traits exhibited the highest genotypic effect, and three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on linkage group (LG) 4, LG8, and LG10 explained 50% of the phenotypic variability for biennial bearing. Apple orthologues of flowering and hormone-related genes were retrieved from the whole-genome assembly of ‘Golden Delicious’ and their position was compared with QTLs. Four main genomic regions that contain floral integrator genes, meristem identity genes, and gibberellin oxidase genes co-located with QTLs. The results indicated that flowering genes are less likely to be responsible for biennial bearing than hormone-related genes. New hypotheses for the control of biennial bearing emerged from QTL and candidate gene co-locations and suggest the involvement of different physiological processes such as the regulation of flowering genes by hormones. The correlation between tree architecture and biennial bearing is also discussed.
Auxin; floral induction; gibberellin; irregular production; Malus×domestica; precocity
Downy mildew, caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is a serious disease in Vitis vinifera, the most commonly cultivated grapevine species. Several wild Vitis species have instead been found to be resistant to this pathogen and have been used as a source to introgress resistance into a V. vinifera background. Stilbenoids represent the major phytoalexins in grapevine, and their toxicity is closely related to the specific compound. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance response to P. viticola of the Merzling × Teroldego cross by profiling the stilbenoid content of the leaves of an entire population and the transcriptome of resistant and susceptible individuals following infection.
A three-year analysis of the population's response to artificial inoculation showed that individuals were distributed in nine classes ranging from total resistance to total susceptibility. In addition, quantitative metabolite profiling of stilbenoids in the population, carried out using HPLC-DAD-MS, identified three distinct groups differing according to the concentrations present and the complexity of their profiles. The high producers were characterized by the presence of trans-resveratrol, trans-piceid, trans-pterostilbene and up to thirteen different viniferins, nine of them new in grapevine.
Accumulation of these compounds is consistent with a resistant phenotype and suggests that they may contribute to the resistance response.
A preliminary transcriptional study using cDNA-AFLP selected a set of genes modulated by the oomycete in a resistant genotype. The expression of this set of genes in resistant and susceptible genotypes of the progeny population was then assessed by comparative microarray analysis.
A group of 57 genes was found to be exclusively modulated in the resistant genotype suggesting that they are involved in the grapevine-P. viticola incompatible interaction. Functional annotation of these transcripts revealed that they belong to the categories defense response, photosynthesis, primary and secondary metabolism, signal transduction and transport.
This study reports the results of a combined metabolic and transcriptional profiling of a grapevine population segregating for resistance to P. viticola. Some resistant individuals were identified and further characterized at the molecular level. These results will be valuable to future grapevine breeding programs.
Comparative genome mapping studies in Rosaceae have been conducted until now by aligning genetic maps within the same genus, or closely related genera and using a limited number of common markers. The growing body of genomics resources and sequence data for both Prunus and Fragaria permits detailed comparisons between these genera and the recently released Malus × domestica genome sequence.
We generated a comparative analysis using 806 molecular markers that are anchored genetically to the Prunus and/or Fragaria reference maps, and physically to the Malus genome sequence. Markers in common for Malus and Prunus, and Malus and Fragaria, respectively were 784 and 148. The correspondence between marker positions was high and conserved syntenic blocks were identified among the three genera in the Rosaceae. We reconstructed a proposed ancestral genome for the Rosaceae.
A genome containing nine chromosomes is the most likely candidate for the ancestral Rosaceae progenitor. The number of chromosomal translocations observed between the three genera investigated was low. However, the number of inversions identified among Malus and Prunus was much higher than any reported genome comparisons in plants, suggesting that small inversions have played an important role in the evolution of these two genera or of the Rosaceae.
Most of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivars grown today are those selected centuries ago, even though grapevine is one of the most important fruit crops in the world. Grapevine has therefore not benefited from the advances in modern plant breeding nor more recently from those in molecular genetics and genomics: genes controlling important agronomic traits are practically unknown. A physical map is essential to positionally clone such genes and instrumental in a genome sequencing project.
We report on the first whole genome physical map of grapevine built using high information content fingerprinting of 49,104 BAC clones from the cultivar Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir, as most grape varieties, is highly heterozygous at the sequence level. This resulted in the two allelic haplotypes sometimes assembling into separate contigs that had to be accommodated in the map framework or in local expansions of contig maps. We performed computer simulations to assess the effects of increasing levels of sequence heterozygosity on BAC fingerprint assembly and showed that the experimental assembly results are in full agreement with the theoretical expectations, given the heterozygosity levels reported for grape. The map is anchored to a dense linkage map consisting of 994 markers. 436 contigs are anchored to the genetic map, covering 342 of the 475 Mb that make up the grape haploid genome.
We have developed a resource that makes it possible to access the grapevine genome, opening the way to a new era both in grape genetics and breeding and in wine making. The effects of heterozygosity on the assembly have been analyzed and characterized by using several complementary approaches which could be easily transferred to the study of other genomes which present the same features.
Apple fruitlet abscission is induced by dominance, a process in which hormones such as auxin, cytokinins and strigolactone play a pivotal role. The response to these hormones is controlled by transcription regulators such as Aux/IAA and ARR, whereas auxin transport is controlled by influx and efflux carriers.
Seven partial clones encoding auxin efflux carriers (MdPIN1_A, MdPIN1_B, MdPIN10_A, MdPIN10_B, MdPIN4, MdPIN7_A and MdPIN7_B), three encoding auxin influx carriers (MdLAX1, MdLAX2 and MdLAX3) and three encoding type A ARR cytokinin response regulators (MdARR3, MdARR4 and MdARR6) were isolated by the use of degenerate primers. The organization of the PIN multigene family in apple is closer to Medicago truncatula than to Arabidopsis thaliana. The genes are differentially expressed in diverse plant organs and at different developmental stages. MdPIN1 and MdPIN7 are largely more expressed than MdPIN10 and MdPIN4. During abscission, the transcription of these genes increased in the cortex whereas in the seed a sharp fall was observed. The expression of these genes was found to be at least partially controlled by ethylene and auxin.
The ethylene burst preceding abscission of fruitlets may be responsible for the decrease in transcript level of MDPIN1, MDARR5 and MDIAA3 in seed. This situation modulates the status of the fruitlet and its fate by hampering the PAT from the seeds down through the abscission zone (AZ) and this brings about the shedding of the fruitlet.
In response to pathogen attack, grapevine synthesizes phytoalexins belonging to the family of stilbenes. Grapevine cell cultures represent a good model system for studying the basic mechanisms of plant response to biotic and abiotic elicitors. Among these, modified β-cyclodextrins seem to act as true elicitors inducing strong production of the stilbene resveratrol.
The transcriptome changes of Vitis riparia × Vitis berlandieri grapevine cells in response to the modified β-cyclodextrin, DIMEB, were analyzed 2 and 6 h after treatment using a suppression subtractive hybridization experiment and a microarray analysis respectively. At both time points, we identified a specific set of induced genes belonging to the general phenylpropanoid metabolism, including stilbenes and hydroxycinnamates, and to defence proteins such as PR proteins and chitinases. At 6 h we also observed a down-regulation of the genes involved in cell division and cell-wall loosening.
We report the first large-scale study of the molecular effects of DIMEB, a resveratrol inducer, on grapevine cell cultures. This molecule seems to mimic a defence elicitor which enhances the physical barriers of the cell, stops cell division and induces phytoalexin synthesis.
Two complete genome sequences are available for Vitis vinifera Pinot noir. Based on the sequence and gene predictions produced by the IASMA, we performed an in silico detection of putative microRNA genes and of their targets, and collected the most reliable microRNA predictions in a web database. The application is available at .
The program FindMiRNA was used to detect putative microRNA genes in the grape genome. A very high number of predictions was retrieved, calling for validation. Nine parameters were calculated and, based on the grape microRNAs dataset available at miRBase, thresholds were defined and applied to FindMiRNA predictions having targets in gene exons. In the resulting subset, predictions were ranked according to precursor positions and sequence similarity, and to target identity. To further validate FindMiRNA predictions, comparisons to the Arabidopsis genome, to the grape Genoscope genome, and to the grape EST collection were performed. Results were stored in a MySQL database and a web interface was prepared to query the database and retrieve predictions of interest.
The GrapeMiRNA database encompasses 5,778 microRNA predictions spanning the whole grape genome. Predictions are integrated with information that can be of use in selection procedures. Tools added in the web interface also allow to inspect predictions according to gene ontology classes and metabolic pathways of targets. The GrapeMiRNA database can be of help in selecting candidate microRNA genes to be validated.
Large-scale sequencing projects have now become routine lab practice and this has led to the development of a new generation of tools involving function prediction methods, bringing the latter back to the fore. The advent of Gene Ontology, with its structured vocabulary and paradigm, has provided computational biologists with an appropriate means for this task.
We present here a novel method called ARGOT (Annotation Retrieval of Gene Ontology Terms) that is able to process quickly thousands of sequences for functional inference. The tool exploits for the first time an integrated approach which combines clustering of GO terms, based on their semantic similarities, with a weighting scheme which assesses retrieved hits sharing a certain number of biological features with the sequence to be annotated. These hits may be obtained by different methods and in this work we have based ARGOT processing on BLAST results.
The extensive benchmark involved 10,000 protein sequences, the complete S. cerevisiae genome and a small subset of proteins for purposes of comparison with other available tools. The algorithm was proven to outperform existing methods and to be suitable for function prediction of single proteins due to its high degree of sensitivity, specificity and coverage.
Efforts to sequence the genomes of different organisms continue to increase. The DNA sequence is usually decoded for one individual and its application is for the whole species. The recent sequencing of the highly heterozygous Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Pinot Noir (clone ENTAV 115) genome gave rise to several thousand polymorphisms and offers a good model to study the transferability of its degree of polymorphism to other individuals of the same species and within the genus.
This study was performed by genotyping 137 SNPs through the SNPlex™ Genotyping System (Applied Biosystems Inc.) and by comparing the SNPlex sequencing results across 35 (of the 137) regions from 69 grape accessions. A heterozygous state transferability of 31.5% across the unrelated cultivars of V. vinifera, of 18.8% across the wild forms of V. vinifera, of 2.3% among non-vinifera Vitis species, and of 0% with Muscadinia rotundifolia was found. In addition, mean allele frequencies were used to evaluate SNP informativeness and develop useful subsets of markers.
Using SNPlex application and corroboration from the sequencing analysis, the informativeness of SNP markers from the heterozygous grape cultivar Pinot Noir was validated in V. vinifera (including cultivars and wild forms), but had a limited application for non-vinifera Vitis species where a resequencing strategy may be preferred, knowing that homology at priming sites is sufficient. This work will allow future applications such as mapping and diversity studies, accession identification and genomic-research assisted breeding within V. vinifera.
Until recently, only a small number of low- and mid-throughput methods have been used for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery and genotyping in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). However, following completion of the sequence of the highly heterozygous genome of Pinot Noir, it has been possible to identify millions of electronic SNPs (eSNPs) thus providing a valuable source for high-throughput genotyping methods.
Herein we report the first application of the SNPlex™ genotyping system in grapevine aiming at the anchoring of an eukaryotic genome. This approach combines robust SNP detection with automated assay readout and data analysis. 813 candidate eSNPs were developed from non-repetitive contigs of the assembled genome of Pinot Noir and tested in 90 progeny of Syrah × Pinot Noir cross. 563 new SNP-based markers were obtained and mapped. The efficiency rate of 69% was enhanced to 80% when multiple displacement amplification (MDA) methods were used for preparation of genomic DNA for the SNPlex assay.
Unlike other SNP genotyping methods used to investigate thousands of SNPs in a few genotypes, or a few SNPs in around a thousand genotypes, the SNPlex genotyping system represents a good compromise to investigate several hundred SNPs in a hundred or more samples simultaneously. Therefore, the use of the SNPlex assay, coupled with whole genome amplification (WGA), is a good solution for future applications in well-equipped laboratories.
Worldwide, grapes and their derived products have a large market. The cultivated grape species Vitis vinifera has potential to become a model for fruit trees genetics. Like many plant species, it is highly heterozygous, which is an additional challenge to modern whole genome shotgun sequencing. In this paper a high quality draft genome sequence of a cultivated clone of V. vinifera Pinot Noir is presented.
We estimate the genome size of V. vinifera to be 504.6 Mb. Genomic sequences corresponding to 477.1 Mb were assembled in 2,093 metacontigs and 435.1 Mb were anchored to the 19 linkage groups (LGs). The number of predicted genes is 29,585, of which 96.1% were assigned to LGs. This assembly of the grape genome provides candidate genes implicated in traits relevant to grapevine cultivation, such as those influencing wine quality, via secondary metabolites, and those connected with the extreme susceptibility of grape to pathogens. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) distribution was consistent with a diffuse haplotype structure across the genome. Of around 2,000,000 SNPs, 1,751,176 were mapped to chromosomes and one or more of them were identified in 86.7% of anchored genes. The relative age of grape duplicated genes was estimated and this made possible to reveal a relatively recent Vitis-specific large scale duplication event concerning at least 10 chromosomes (duplication not reported before).
Sanger shotgun sequencing and highly efficient sequencing by synthesis (SBS), together with dedicated assembly programs, resolved a complex heterozygous genome. A consensus sequence of the genome and a set of mapped marker loci were generated. Homologous chromosomes of Pinot Noir differ by 11.2% of their DNA (hemizygous DNA plus chromosomal gaps). SNP markers are offered as a tool with the potential of introducing a new era in the molecular breeding of grape.
Grapevine (Vitis species) is among the most important fruit crops in terms of cultivated area and economic impact. Despite this relevance, little is known about the transcriptional changes and the regulatory circuits underlying the biochemical and physical changes occurring during berry development.
Fruit ripening in the non-climacteric crop species Vitis vinifera L. has been investigated at the transcriptional level by the use of the Affymetrix Vitis GeneChip® which contains approximately 14,500 unigenes. Gene expression data obtained from berries sampled before and after véraison in three growing years, were analyzed to identify genes specifically involved in fruit ripening and to investigate seasonal influences on the process. From these analyses a core set of 1477 genes was found which was similarly modulated in all seasons. We were able to separate ripening specific isoforms within gene families and to identify ripening related genes which appeared strongly regulated also by the seasonal weather conditions. Transcripts annotation by Gene Ontology vocabulary revealed five overrepresented functional categories of which cell wall organization and biogenesis, carbohydrate and secondary metabolisms and stress response were specifically induced during the ripening phase, while photosynthesis was strongly repressed. About 19% of the core gene set was characterized by genes involved in regulatory processes, such as transcription factors and transcripts related to hormonal metabolism and signal transduction. Auxin, ethylene and light emerged as the main stimuli influencing berry development. In addition, an oxidative burst, previously not detected in grapevine, characterized by rapid accumulation of H2O2 starting from véraison and by the modulation of many ROS scavenging enzymes, was observed.
The time-course gene expression analysis of grapevine berry development has identified the occurrence of two well distinct phases along the process. The pre-véraison phase represents a reprogramming stage of the cellular metabolism, characterized by the expression of numerous genes involved in hormonal signalling and transcriptional regulation. The post-véraison phase is characterized by the onset of a ripening-specialized metabolism responsible for the phenotypic traits of the ripe berry. Between the two phases, at véraison, an oxidative burst and the concurrent modulation of the anti-oxidative enzymatic network was observed. The large number of regulatory genes we have identified represents a powerful new resource for dissecting the mechanisms of fruit ripening control in non-climacteric plants.